Friday, October 01, 2010

Volcano National Park, Hawai'i

Everyone that goes to this park for the very first time wants to see lava spewing into the air. I know I did when I first visited in 1965.

I was quite disappointed as a 3rd grader. I thought this was the most boring place on earth...and it smelled bad.

We returned each year then through 1973. The park got more interesting of course because of the eruption of Mauna Ulu in 1969.

In 2001 my father and I made this trip. He was a trooper and we did a few trails.
This time around, well large portions of the park were closed due to high sulfur content from the current activity at Kilauea and the activity at Pu`u `O`o.

What really struck me during this visit was the plant life. When you think about it, this is an incredible and exotic area for plants [and animals].

I really disliked the tour buses and the groups of guides with bicycles. Sorry...but they were very annoying! But to each there own.

So I leave you with these photos of plants:
Ohelo Lehua:
Uluhe Ferns at the steam vents:

Hapu'u or Tree Ferns at the Thurston Lava Tube:
Ohelo Lehua Tree on the side of Kiluea Crater:
...and Pele, the goddess who we decided was responsible for changing the winds so that the sulfur content of the air was dangerous enough to close most of the park after we left... keep us from viewing the lava flow into the ocean at Kalapana.
[taken at the Jagger Museum]


Our ride back that night was over the Saddle Road. If you want to experience this road, I suggest that you never do it in the dark as we did.
Thanks to my son, we returned to our house tired, but safe.


  1. I just caught up! This must be a very emotional time for you. What you wrote about finding the tree on the beach with the picnic table chained to it was very touching. It is good that you got your father back to Hawaii.

    Hope all is well.

  2. Thank you Lori. Yes, it was something...the next day I snorkeled off shore from that very same spot..